Coconut water has been a common beverage in tropical regions all over the world for a long time. Women have traditionally used coconut water to increase fertility and to promote a healthy pregnancy. The U.S. health food market has recently drawn attention to its benefits and began marketing coconut water as an all-natural sports drink. Though it's not the miracle potion some companies would have you believe, coconut water does have nutritional benefits and can be a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet for all women.
Coconut water is high in potassium, which helps the body regulate blood pressure. It's rich in vitamin C, fiber, magnesium and electrolytes. Coconut water is also a good source of riboflavin and calcium, which many women lack. A 1 cup serving has 46 calories and 3 grams of dietary fiber. It has low cholesterol and even helps the body produce high-density lipoprotein or "good" cholesterol.
In addition to the nutritional advantages, coconut water is beneficial for pregnant women. Pregnant women in tropical climates use it to alleviate morning sickness and to soothe the stomach after vomiting. It's a diuretic, which helps prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones, and it aids digestion and prevents constipation, a common complaint during pregnancy. Coconut water contains lauric acid which boosts the immune system, preventing infection and illness.
A Natural Sports Drink
The electrolyte and potassium content of coconut water make it useful for replenishing lost fluids during a workout, which is important for women who live in hot climates. Some brands of coconut water are marketed as natural alternatives to sports drinks. However, while coconut water is a decent choice for women who engage in light exercise, fitness experts seem to agree that in this capacity, it may not be necessary. Angela Giancoli, a spokesperson for the American Diabetic Association, states, "Most people don't exercise heavily enough to need a sports recovery drink. Water is just fine for most people."
Coconut water is low in fat and calories. While the calories do still add up, it's a wise alternative to sugary sodas and juices for women who are watching their weight. Also, with the carbohydrates and nutrients in coconut water, it can provide extra energy for a workout.